Classic Drummer Hall of Fame
Honoring Music's Most Influential Drummers
As voted by the readers of Classic Drummer Magazine
Influenced early on by the likes of Miles Davis and John Coltrane and with his trademark understated cool and quiet confidence, Charlie Watts seems like the least likely candidate to anchor the flamboyant, original bad boys or rock and roll, the Rolling Stones.
What would be the perfect groove to underpin perhaps the most iconic guitar riff in rock? Listen to Charlie Watts play "Satisfaction" and find out. How does one support his group’s savvy exploitation of the disco craze with grace and dignity? See Charlie Watts, 1978, and the Rolling Stones, "Miss You". This pattern repeats itself, hit after hit, and album after album for the past 45 plus years on more than 60 Rolling Stones albums.
Of course, there’s more to Charlie Watts than the Stones; he’s been the creative force behind a host of jazz groups and projects as both producer and musician. He has even published a children’s book honoring jazz great Charlie Parker.
Over the past half-century or so, much has been written and said about Charlie and his playing. Keith Richards summarized it this way, “Charlie’s always there, but he doesn’t want to let everybody know. There’s very few drummers like that. Everybody thinks Mick and Keith are the Rolling Stones. If Charlie wasn’t doing what he’s doing on drums, that wouldn’t be true at all. You’d find out that Charlie Watts IS the Stones.”